In November of 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to bar same sex couples from marrying. Nearly ten years later, with only nine other states allowing same sex marriage, the US Supreme Court is currently listening to arguments on the Proposition 8 case in California.
Michigan legislature has not made any moves toward legalizing same-sex marriage, which puts hardships on couples trying to live together as a family.
Finical & Legal Issues
“It hurts finically more than anything,” said Nicki Haring, “We have to file separate taxes and car payments and end up having to pay twice for things.”
While the government doesn’t recognize it, Nicki and her partner Kristina got married three years ago and have been together for six. They live together with their daughters Harlow, 17 months, and Lilah, 7, who is from Nicki’s previous marriage.
What scares them most is the legal problems with Harlow who they conceived through in vitro by an unknown donor.
“Legally, only on of us is her parent,” explained Nicki.
The Haring’s have had to set up a will and powers of attorney in case anything happened to Nicki, Kristina would have rights to their daughter.
Even with the legal and finical matters the Harring’s consider themselves lucky.
“We’ve never really had problems with not being accepting or people being mean to us,” said Kristina.
The worst experience they encountered was with an ultra-sound technician during Nicki’s pregnancy with Harlow.
“You could just tell she was uncomfortable,” said Kristina, “She wouldn’t even look at me.”
The couple was so excited to finally find out what sex the baby was and technician wouldn’t even tell them. She said she couldn’t fin the results without any other explanation.
“It was suppose to be on of the most exciting days of our lives and it was tragic,” Kristina recalled.
It is easy for them so brush off some random person on the street but when it is in an intimate setting like the doctor’s is becomes emotional.
They have also been fortunate that their families have been so accepting of their relationship.
For Kristina, the hardest person to tell was her grandma would was 81 at the time. It took a while for grandma to come around but she did.
“I realize she was just concerned for me. She was afraid I would lose my job and rights,” explained Kristina, “In her day people were literally stoned for being gay.”
Nicki was nervous to tell her father and brother.
“They’re both military men and republicans,” remarked Nicki, “but my father ended up walking us both down the isle.”
To the Future
The Haring’s are hopeful for what the future holds. While the issue hasn’t come up yet, a large concern for them is problems their daughters might face if people are unaccepting.
“We’ve talked to Lilah about how it’s not common for everyone to have two moms,” said Nicki, “but we just tell her it’s more people that love her.”
The Haring’s are amazed at the change they have already seen in their time together.
“When we first started dating, it was scary to come out and tell people,” explained Kristina, “Now there are people fighting for our rights. You see it everyday on TV.”